My friend died yesterday. What do I miss?

Grieving is an interesting 🤔 thing. Makes you ponder relationships after a person dies. There are unattended consequences every where. We choose one path with the hope things will get better. And they do partially, yet greater issues arise. Instead of sticking through the storm. We choose a different path hoping there are less struggles.

My friend and I would talk about life, mistakes that happen. Our reaction to world events. The outcomes of eternal decisions all based on misunderstandings.

He made mistakes, we all do. Forgiveness is for everyone. Although rough edges are present, my friend helped me realize we need to forgive ourselves for mistakes we made. We need to forgive others who wronged us. Don’t hang onto un-forgiveness or it will cause unattended harm. Your health can be impacted, relationships can be severed, or severely hurt. A lot of hurt can fester for years.

Leaning “not” on our own understanding is key to living life more peacefully. When we look at life through others eyes and how our actions can impact others, both today and tomorrow.

We are only given today. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. It could be a new job, new opportunity or a pandemic. Our world has experienced a lot of rapid change, and as human abilities to adjust quickly. Many struggle as our nature is to seek comfort and safety over danger. Some like the thrill but many go the opposite direction.

My friend would sit back, humbly share his position yet I sensed there was more to the story. Wisdom comes with experience, especially in failure.

Is partial failure also a partial victory? Don’t we learn more in those times? My friend and I would “banter” back and forth over talking points.

In the end, we enjoyed each other’s company even though at different seasons of life. Taking time to get to know someone is important. Trust, integrity, honesty and love for the person builds bridges.

What is another lesson I learned from my friend? Seek out those at different seasons of life. Seek others who are different than you but have similar goals about learning new things. It takes time, patience and persistence. The reward is both involved will receive benefits from the friendship.

I will miss my friend and our times on the porch chatting.

My friend died today

My friend went to Heaven today. God orchestrated our friendship about a year ago. He was “of modest means”. At first, he seemed a “bit rough around the edges”. He seemed “just another elderly man set in his ways” and was just grumpy.

It didn’t take too long on my volunteer delivery route my friend was the last stop of the day. Our conversations could be a five minute chat or a two hour theological discussion. More times than not they were long. My friend seemed to have a book, an article or experience covering the topic we were discussing.

God used my friend to help guide me in my walk with Christ introducing me to material about the apostle paul. I spent almost our entire friendship studying paul.

God had you right where he needed you. Your heart, was soft once we got to know each other. You looked out for others. That made a difference in your neighborhood. These families get prayer and to hear about Jesus because of your keen sense of wanting to help others in need.

My friend had stories. It was fun to hear them and he would get excited. Sometimes we would debate, lots of times there was “loving” sarcasm. “Sit down and shut up Steve” was a common statement.

This was said with lots of smiles and “love”. Most times I did, sometimes I would be “rebellious”. When my friend would get grumpy. I would state….if you…“keep being grumpy, I am going to come and give you a hug”…he almost always would calm down 🙂

How did I know my friend truly liked me? He was truly depressed not having a vehicle in his life. His words were. “Steve you get to pray today said with a somber voice”. I forgot what we prayed about but about 24 hours later. You called me with excitement the guy we asked if he had a car for sale the previous day sold THAT car to you. God made a miracle happen!

I told my friend I appreciated our relationship. I got the “ok” sign. I enjoyed when he would randomly call asking for prayer for others, never seemed to be for himself. God called him home today. His faith became sight.

Thank you my friend for allowing God to use your experience and gifts to help others, including me even when you didn’t think your efforts mattered.

Was my friend famous? No. Was my friend rich by earthly standards? No. Did my friend have a big house? No.

Did my friend care about others? Absolutely. Did he show love in his own way? Absolutely. Did he allow God to use him? Absolutely.

My friend, you are fully healed. No longer suffering. You will be missed by more than you realize. One day, we will see each other again. My friend died on earth today, BUT is fully alive in heaven. I will miss my friend. Friends make a difference, relationships are important too, things are not important. Ron your memory and testimony will live on!

Our theme verse…

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NASB1995